Crossword Genius

Lack of quality spoiled 10 pens (9)


I believe the answer is:


I'm a little stuck...
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Here is my best explanation:

'lack of quality' is the definition.

'cheapness' can be an answer for 'quality' (cheapness is a kind of quality). I am not sure about the 'lack of' bit.

'spoiled 10 pens' is the subsidiary indication.

I cannot quite understand how this works, but

an anagram of 'pens' is 'pnes' which is present in the answer.

This explanation may well be incorrect...

This clue was last seen in The Independent

(Other definitions for cheapness that I've seen before include "Scan sheep (anag)" and "Poor quality".)


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